Hiking Bear Mountain NY

Bear Mountain State Park is another cool place with lots of history, including some of New York’s early ski history. But it also attracts so many people every summer weekend that the heavy traffic can make it difficult to get around northern Rockland County, much less take advantage of the hiking, paddling and swimming opportunities the park offers.

bear mountain trail building exhibit

It can be disheartening. It’s not just because the crowds and traffic make access difficult, but also the impact all those people have in terms of litter, erosion, noise pollution. The crowds at Harriman and Bear redefine the term “intensive use.” On a normal summer weekend, I definitely avoid Bear Mountain.

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Paradox Lake Camping

New York has many special regions, but my favorite as an avid skier and hiker is the Adirondacks. Recently on a week of “funemployment” before starting my new job, I chose Paradox Lake for a few days of camping, kayaking and hiking.

Paradox Lake

I met up with John on a Monday morning and we trekked up the Thruway to the town Paradox; a rural town in the eastern foothills of the mountains that is home to beautiful Paradox Lake and a well-maintained campsite, complete with a beach. We set up camp quickly in anticipation of a rainstorm that never arrived, and took the kayaks out for happy hour on Birch Island; a small island just a two hundred yards from the shore.

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Hudson Highlands: Anthony’s Nose Hike

“What can be more imposing than the precipitous Highlands, whose dark foundations have been rent to make a passage for the mighty river?” — Thomas Cole, 1841


When driving east across the iconic Bear Mountain Bridge, a towering, rocky peak looms overhead on the eastern shore of the Hudson River. If you look closely, you can just make out the tan and gray rocky outcropping marked with an American flag often whipping in the wind. Dwarfed in its imposing shadow on a cool summer morning, one cannot help but feel the same sense of awe described by the famed Hudson River School artists and writers in the mid nineteenth century.

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